Voice of the Faithful and the Mirror Magisterium
“To those who have been called by God, who live in the love of God the Father and the protection of Jesus Christ:
May mercy, peace, and love be yours in full measure.
My dear friends, I was doing my best to write to you about the salvation we share in common, when I felt the need of writing at once to encourage you to fight on for the faith which once and for all God has given to His people. For some godless people have slipped in unnoticed among us, persons who distort the message about the grace of our God in order to excuse their immoral ways, and who reject Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord. Long ago the Scriptures predicted the condemnation they have received.” [The Letter from Jude: 1-4, St. Jerome Edition]
What better words with which to begin my follow up on votf than what has been given to me in prayer. It is my sincere hope that I can add to the wonderful work that God has begun in the environment we find ourselves. What follows is the result of my continued research into votf since I last wrote on September 12, 2002 entitled “Votf spits on the blood of the Holy Martyrs” I will present the highlights and sources of these statements and my commentary at the end of each and a closing reflection.
Children Should not be Protected via a Statement from Rome – Real Protection Will be Realized via a Collaboration Among Bishops, Priests, Survivors and Laity
“American Catholics have looked to their bishops for pastoral leadership in a time of great crisis and scandal. It is deeply troubling the Vatican has concluded that the judgment of those closest to the problem and to the 64 million members of the U.S Catholic community is so severely flawed.” Jim Post, president, Voice of the Faithful
[Source: VOTF website on October 19, 2002]
This latest statement is similar to Mr. Posts’ numerous statements demonstrating the problem votf has with having to listen to Rome. I also challenge votf to state on its website that votf believes in the following statement:
”….the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.” [Catechism of the Catholic Church, 882]
It is also consistent with votf’s introductory slide show showing the masses of votf NOT under “Papal Authority Only”. As for his statement of “those closest to the problem” (assuming he means the Bishops) I would suggest that perhaps “those closest to the problem” are part of the problem and the “Dallas solution” fails not only to concur with universal church law but also to speak truthfully about the second “root cause” (the first being infidelity to authentic Catholic teaching) and that is the failure of the far too many Bishops in the church to enforce the 1961 document entitled Careful Selection and Training Of Candidates For The States Of Perfection And Sacred Orders" (S.C. Rel., 2 Feb., 1961) , which prohibits homosexuals from sacred orders and the resultant proliferation of homosexuals in Sacred Orders. It is interesting to note that, as of this date, the only position that votf HAS taken is that it “does not advocate the exclusion of homosexuals from the priesthood. [source: votf website on positions of votf]
In an interview with a reporter from Reality Online, from Redemptorist Publications (http://www.redemptoristpublications.com/reality/oct02/donation.html) posted October 2, 2002, Jim Muller, the co-founder and former president of votf , when asked why he hasn’t put married clergy at the top of the program , stated “ We have not taken stands on any specific issues (my reminder --other than the inclusion of homosexuals to the priesthood) other than a voice for the laity, Once that forum is established, we expect that married clergy will be discussed, as will many other issues. I will introduce a resolution calling for more Gregorian chant in services. In U.S. political terms, we are creating the equivalent of a Congress for the Catholic laity, not the Democratic or the Republican party, nor are we starting to promote individual issues before we have built a world organization.” (emphasis mine)
Sometimes it is hard not to say “I told you so”. In my earlier paper I stated that as long as votf can avoid those pesky “divisive specifics” they would do so. Why? Because many of the “people in the pews” would leave along with their money. If we let them, they will build a world organization first, a sort of “Mirror Magisterium” , from the money they have diverted out of the Roman Catholic Church, and into their own coffers. ONLY THEN will the floodgates open for all of the radical and heretical positions held by many of its members (remember the good Dr. Massamini and his guide). A two-thirds majority will then tell them what their values (and the way) are for that given point in time, at least until there is another power shift.
Further in that same article Jim Muller was asked; “What about the argument that since democracy is all about politics, it has no place in the church, which should be all about prayer, worship and the sacraments?” ( a strange and revealing question indeed). He responded: “the church is primarily prayer, worship and sacraments, but it also interacts with the world in many ways that are not fixed by scripture, tradition, and the teaching of Christ”. (emphasis mine)
The Church in NOT primarily prayer, worship and sacraments apart from which we then interact with the world not fixed by scripture, tradition and the teaching of Christ. If it were, then it would be nothing more than group therapy with incense. The church is where, by free and hidden plan of the eternal Father to raise men to a participation of the divine life, the people of God journey to rediscover its unity and salvation. The church is “the world reconciled”.[Catechism of the Catholic Church: 845] Our prayer, worship and sacraments are gifts from God that effect our eternal participationi n the divine life of the Trinity. The Church is also NOT a place where everyone’s voice is heard, but where we learn to know His voice and begin to experience the depth of His love for us. The Church is also not to be built where “Jesus would survey with a smile, which would be relevant to our children” (Jim Muller: votf convention speech). And what would Jesus do next? Write in the sky with letters a thousand feet high, And a good time was had by all? The Church has been built on the blood of the martyrs who thought so little of this life that they willingly laid down theirs so that His Body would be built according to the Father’s will.
VOTF and the 10 year plan
Finally in the same interview he was asked about looking ahead 10 years from now :
“What needs to happen between now and then to allow you to say “VOTF has had a good decade”? He responded: “Ten years from now, when I’m 69, I hope that VOTF has a chapter in every parish, a council in each diocese, a council for each nation, and a world council. I hope these lay organizations have thoroughly debated most of the relevant issues, and made the lay view known to their partners in the hierarchy, who have responded appropriately. I hope that the church is stronger, has a more powerful spiritual voice in a world that needs it, and that I will be able to give thanks for these wonderful changes while playing golf in Ireland”.
VOTF is about building a world organization and a mirror magisterium where the collective wishes of many find expression and power. For if, in the opinion of votf leadership, the hierarchy does not respond appropriately (implement them) then they will withhold their financial support. In a post on the message board of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) Paul Baier, a votf trustee, stated : “What if votf grows from 16,000 members in four months to 2 million members in 18 months. What if votf asks all members not to give money every first Sunday? You get the idea. We are learning that the answer for reach [real] change is with the donations……Let’s have the roman catholic laity “unionize” their anger and call for resignations via withholding or re-directing their cash donation.” (http://pub72.ezboard.com/fsnapsurvivorsnetworkfrm5.showMessage?topicID=24.topic)
A house divided against itself cannot stand.
In My Humble Opinion
October 25, 2002
A Closing Reflection
I would like to share with you now my own experience with votf here in my own parish.
The pastor of my parish is the driving force behind the formation of a votf “parish voice” chapter. It is my pastor who used the “power of the pulpit” to speak at all of the Masses in late August about his outrage at the unexplained “edict” of Bishop William Murphy banning votf from all parishes in the Diocese of Rockville Centre and to announce that he would find them a place to meet (to the applause of many of the parishioners at each Mass). It is my pastor who stated that “votf is not about any “hot button issues” , it is just “people in the pews who want accountability”.
And is it my pastor who, after I wrote and distributed my first paper on votf, ordered me to “cease and desist” communicating my position to: any parish staff member, ministry member and any member of the parish. When he pressed me for an answer I told him I needed to pray about it first. That was unacceptable to him. When he asked me if I would change my position on votf I informed him that, unless votf changed, I could not. Because of that, my pastor immediately removed me from ministry in the parish I have been an active member for 28 years.
Although I have been involved with many ministries over the years, in the last year I was privileged to serve in but one ministry and a new one for our parish.
On May 18th, 2001, my precious 19 year old son Michael was tragically killed in an automobile accident. In my journey through this unspeakable grief, I was honored to be called by God to help establish both a general bereavement group and one specifically for parents who suffer the loss of a child. I did so for the glory of God and to honor the memory of my son. My brothers and sisters, I was not removed because of any ministerial deficiency, but merely because I spoke my views with an informed conscience and in opposition to the view of my pastor.
If this is what the Church of votf will be like, thanks but no thanks. I will stay a Roman Catholic in obedience to the Holy Father and the Bishops, no matter how flawed or sinful they may be.
I ask that you pray for this pastor and the many souls for which he will one day have to give an account
In His Presence